Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” It doesn’t get more practical than that! When you see sin coming—duck! When you sense temptation, go the other way. Pay attention! You know your weaknesses. You also know the situations where your weaknesses are most vulnerable. Stay out of those situations. Late hours. Movies. Internet. Social media. Whatever gives Satan a foothold in your life, stay away from it. Watch out!
And pray! Prayer invites God to walk the shadowy pathways with us. To watch ahead for falling trees and tumbling boulders; to bring up the rear, guarding our backside from the poison darts of the devil.
Watch and pray! Good advice. Let’s take it! It could be the difference between a peaceful day on the lake and a stick of dynamite blowing up in our faces!
Most people think that when they die, they are going to heaven. If you asked why, the majority would say they have been good people or their positive deeds outweigh any negative things they’ve done. Yet the sad reality is, most people will not find themselves in heaven—and that includes some who claim to be Christians.
It may not be a popular topic of conversation, but our Savior knew that hell was essential to understand. He uses illustrations of contrasting gates, trees, and houses to point out that there are only two possible destinies after death: heaven and hell. Jesus is warning us about a most sobering reality—that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” actually belongs to Him (Matt. 7:21-23).
What, then, distinguishes a true follower? John 14:15 tells us those who love the Savior will keep His commandments. This obedience begins with believing Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:36). In other words, the first step is to humble ourselves before God, admitting that we’re sinful and deserving of condemnation. Next, we must call out to Him, requesting the forgiveness for which His Son’s blood was shed on our behalf. From then on, we’re to live only for God.
If you hear the gospel but stop short of obedience, ask yourself, Do I fully understand the goodness of God’s love? That should inspire you to obey the Father. Looking good on the outside isn’t enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. Remember, to those who truly receive Him, He will give “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Won’t you make sure you’re among those destined for heaven?
Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.—2 Peter 1:4
The Bible is a gold mine of promises for believers. During any season, but especially in hard times, God’s promises provide an anchor for our soul. They give us hope and enable us to be courageous and bold when facing challenges.
Many individuals do not rely on God’s assurances. There are two reasons for this. First, some people are unaware of His promises. Second, others simply do not believe them to be true. A lot of believers can quote Scripture, but when they face a daunting trial—like a job loss or frightening diagnosis—their confidence wavers and doubt prevails.
Jesus gives believers assurance of protection, hope, eternal security, counsel, and guidance in the Scriptures. Do you trust Him?
Study, memorize, meditate on, and claim these biblical truths. Then, when trials arise, you’ll have an anchor to keep you steady.
I pray that God will add His blessings to your day. If you’ve not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior then may I encourage you to do so. If you have questions about “being saved”, may I recommend you talk to a pastor or reach out to a friend that you know who follows the Lord. The decision you reach today will have eternal consequences. I pray you will make the right choice.
The Lord called David “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22). What was it about him that God valued so highly? He certainly had his share of mistakes, sins, and character flaws. Yet more than anything else, what characterized his life was that he sought to know the Lord.
Whether he was a shepherd, fugitive, warrior, or powerful king, the time he spent with his heavenly Father was his lifeline. In psalm after psalm, David laid everything before the Lord—and wholeheartedly longed to do His will. This was his greatest strength.
Do you want to grow spiritually and be transformed in your everyday faith walk? Take a step beyond asking, “What can I do for God so that I can be a better Christian?” Instead, come before the Lord and say, “Here I am. You have full access to my heart.”
Yesterday as I was having my quiet time with the Lord, He impressed upon me the value of abiding in Him. I read in John 15:4-7 Jesus’ explanation of abiding in Him. But, I kept asking myself “what does it mean to abide in Him?” I went back to God’s word and reread the verses pertaining to the story Jesus told of the vine and branches.
In the story Jesus uses the story of the vine and branches to show the importance of our “remaining” or “abiding in Him”. He points out that He is the vine and we are the branches. Without Him we will die. He also gives us proof of what happens when we abide in Him.
Proofs of abiding in Christ (i.e., proofs that one is truly saved and not just pretending) include obedience to Christ’s commands (John 15:10; 1 John 3:24); following Jesus’ example (1 John 2:6); living free from habitual sin (1 John 3:6); and the awareness of a divine presence within one’s life (1 John 4:13).
One of the proofs of our salvation is perseverance, or sustained abiding in Christ. The saved will continue in their walk with Christ (see Revelation 2:26). That is, they will “abide” or remain in Him. God will complete His work in them (Philippians 1:6), and they will bring forth much fruit to the glory of God (John 15:5). Those who fall away, turn their backs on Christ, or fail to abide simply show their lack of saving faith. Abiding is not what saves us, but it is one of the signs of salvation.
If you’ve fallen away from Christ it is not too late to confess your sins, repent and ask His forgiveness. When you are received back into the fold of Jesus’ care you can start abiding in Him and God will complete His work in you.
13To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech. 14Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight and strength.—Proverbs 8:13-14
Do you think of yourself as a failure? No one likes being a failure. But there’s a reason for it. Your failures can often be a result of too much pride, which scripture clearly and repeatedly says the Lord hates (Prov. 6:16-17; Prov. 8:13; Prov. 16:5). Our pride can keep us from hearing God’s voice. And if that’s the case in your life, God knows exactly how to challenge your proud attitude—with a good dose of failure.
God still speaks to us through our failure. If it keeps us on His path to our success, isn’t the setback worth it? In the future when an unexpected failure occurs, try to be aware of your response. Don’t get upset. There’s no need to beat yourself up because you failed.
Instead, admit your errors to God and seek His insight. Ask Him, “Lord, what are You trying to tell me in this?” and our heavenly Father will guide you. We can give thanks for God’s correction, knowing it comes from His great love for us.